Who We Are
Courage Campaign fights for a more progressive California and country.
Powered by 1.4 million members, our proven strategy combines digital tools with grassroots community organizing and powerful messaging. We focus on three priorities:
1. Economic Justice
2. Human Rights
3. Corporate and Political Accountability
We work in California -- the largest and most diverse state -- to create models for the country. We are not bound by election cycles. We are a permanent, independent, multi-issue campaign -- winning progressive change today, and building power for the future.
Nearly 75% of our funding comes from thousands of online donors (the average donation is $17). We are also funded by a growing base of major donors, partner organizations, and the support of foundations.
We pride ourselves on working with a broad array of partner organizations to break down silos and build progressive power across issues, organizations, and communities. Our California Progressive Convenings network includes more than 300 organizations. Courage Campaign is also a proud state partner of the ProgressNow network.
Courage Campaign Staff
Caitlin Alesio Maloney, Director of Voter Engagement and Technology: Caitlin originally joined the Courage Campaign team from 2008-2014 and served as a Field Organizer, EqualityHub Manager, and Data Director. After a stint as Deputy Technology Director for ProgressNow, she is back in the fold as a Director of Voter Engagement and Technology. Previously, Caitlin worked as a Campus Campaign Manager for No on Prop 8, and for Libraries for the Future, a national non-profit supporting innovation and investment in America's public libraries. Raised in New Hampshire, she now lives in San Rafael, CA with her wife and son (and her little dog, too). When not attached to her computer, you can find Caitlin cooking, gardening, or hanging out with honeybees.
Gabriela Bobadilla, Development Associate: Gabby is an Inland Empire native and first-generation college graduate from the University of California, Riverside. During her time in university she was involved in youth development, anti-human trafficking, and Latinx theatre community work. Upon graduation, she worked in international education organizations in South America for two years. She is excited to be back in California and promote Courage in her home state.
Jay Chotirmal, Voter Guide Writing & Research Associate: Jay received a BA in Economics with a minor in Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley. Following graduation, Jay moved to New York where he became involved in fundraising efforts for independent media and public access radio. Prior to joining Courage Campaign, he held political communication positions in Washington, DC and Florida. Jay is excited to be back in California and working with Courage Campaign to launch the first statewide progressive voter guide.
Eddie Kurtz, President and Executive Director: A theatre director in a previous life, Eddie served as Political Director -- leading Courage Campaign's campaign work -- prior to his promotion to Executive Director. He managed our campaign to pass California's Homeowner Bill of Rights in 2012 and the Lifesaving Intelligent Firearms Enforcement (LIFE) Act in 2013. He also directed online operations for the Millionaires Tax of 2012, the precursor to the historic Proposition 30. Prior to his time at Courage, Eddie served as Communications Associate at Brave New Films and worked to elect Congressman Jerry McNerney and President Obama. Originally from Kansas City, Eddie is a proud graduate of the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs, as well as Washington University in St. Louis and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.
Mary Lizardi, Senior Campaign Manager: Mary is a queer Chicana daughter of immigrants and uses her intersecting identities to inform her work. Prior to Courage Campaign, Mary worked at her alma mater, University of California, Riverside, at the Chicano Student Programs resource center. As Program Coordinator, she planned annual events and programs through a Chicano lens to advocate for first-generation college students and empower Chicano/Latino identified folx to pursue higher education. Prior to UC Riverside, Mary helped turn Nevada blue with the Nevada State Democratic Party in Las Vegas during the 2016 presidential election. Mary is excited to join Courage Campaign’s organizing efforts and directly empower her communities.
Raquel Parra, Policy Manager: Raquel first became politically active as a teenager attending Prop 8 protests in Los Angeles. While attending the University of California, Berkeley, they continued their activism as a member of Berkeley’s International Socialist Organization chapter, while finding community in LGBTQ+ organizations. With bachelor’s' degrees in Art History and Anthropology they helped found the zine of the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive Student Committee, and worked with rare materials in Bancroft Library. They're excited to return to their organizing roots as part of the Courage Campaign team.
Phillip Thompson, Director of Elections: Phillip Thompson is a veteran Democratic strategist with high-profile political campaign experience that spans local, state, and federal elections in 14 states. He has served in leadership roles building progressive infrastructure, as deputy executive director of the Florida Democratic Party, Florida state director for For Our Future’s Florida arm, campaign manager at the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, and as a Los Angeles union organizer for the Service Employees International Union Local 1000, California's largest state employees union. In the 2018 cycle, he led seven progressive candidates to victory in four states and advised two new Congresswomen on their way to two red-to-blue victories.
Molly Watson, Senior Development Manager: Molly joined Courage Campaign in 2017 when she returned home to California with her husband and toddler after seven years in Brooklyn, NY. While in New York, Molly worked as an Advocate and Academic Coordinator for underserved youth at Harlem Children’s Zone. Most recently, she spent three years fundraising for a safety net hospital in downtown Brooklyn, and dabbles in health care research. Molly earned a BA in Afro-Ethnic Studies from CSU Fullerton and studied Urban Affairs at CUNY Hunter in Manhattan, NY. Molly’s favorite things include her family and tanning in the California sun.
Deepthi Welaratna, Voter Guide Writing & Research Manager: Deepthi joins the Courage Campaign team to help launch California's first statewide progressive voter guide, aimed at giving all Californians the information they need to vote according to their values. Deepthi brings nearly two decades of commitment to systems change through public policy campaigns, creative leadership programs, and global movement building around a range of social and economic issues. Deepthi is also the founder of Thicket Labs, a design lab and research consultancy. Deepthi was born in England, raised in Silicon Valley, has lived in Paris and New York, and her family is from Sri Lanka. She is a recent transplant to Los Angeles where she lives with her husband and enjoys balcony gardening.
Lindsay West, Senior Operations Manager: Prior to joining Courage Campaign, Lindsay worked in integrated marketing and events in the entertainment industry. Lindsay’s activism started with harm reduction programs in high school. He earned a BA in Film and Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz, and has volunteered for the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank and AIDS Project Los Angeles.
Scottie Thomaston, Lead Writer: Scottie is an activist and writer based in south Alabama. In addition to being a Contributor at Courage Campaign Institute's EqualityOnTrial.com, he has been a longtime contributor to DailyKos, Fire Dog Lake, Critical Mass Progress, and The Huffington Post's 'Gay Voices.' As a lifelong activist, he has worked to help to end the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy" and to end proposed statewide amendments and legislation such as the recently withdrawn anti-transgender bill proposed in Tennessee's General Assembly. He's written on topics ranging from LGBT rights to disability rights and criminal justice.
Boards of Directors
Jamie McGurk - Chair
Courage Campaign Institute
Lisa Garcia Bedolla
Lindsay Gardner - Chair
Rick Jacobs - Emeritus Chair
Work with Courage
We're also always looking for talented people to join our team! See current openings here.
Courage Campaign Structure and Status
The Courage Campaign family of organizations is devoted to fighting for a more progressive California and country.
Courage Campaign is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization. This designation allows Courage Campaign to advocate for legislation and influence the decisions of our elected leaders. It also means that contributions to Courage Campaign are NOT tax deductible.
Courage Campaign Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and the educational arm of the Courage Campaign family of organizations. Its mission is to defend and extend economic justice, human rights, and corporate and political accountability through public education, strategic research, and innovative leadership-development training. Contributions to Courage Campaign Institute are TAX DEDUCTIBLE within IRS guidelines.
Courage Campaign Issues Committee is ballot committee active on statewide and local ballot campaigns and is registered with the California Fair Political Practices Commission.
Contact Courage Campaign
Our staff work virtually from their homes across California, but our mailing address is:
7119 West Sunset Boulevard, No. 195
Los Angeles, California 90046